Posts Tagged ‘Discrimination’

With judges like Robin Camp, how impartial is Canada’s justice system?

September 29th, 2016 by Shelina Ali

This article was first published on rabble.ca

I was recently listening to a radio program featuring racialized lawyers in Ontario discussing the challenges they faced in the legal profession and was struck by my reaction. I thought: how unfortunate that this was all being shared publically. Unfortunate, not because I did not believe the experiences of these individuals or sympathize with the challenges they were describing, but because I didn’t want people to know about the challenges. Why would anyone hire a racialized lawyer if they knew that the lawyer felt that there was a higher standard placed on them in court, by judges, as compared with their non‑racialized colleagues?

I wish my reaction was that this was the unusual experience of one lawyer and not a reflection of the justice system’s treatment of marginalized groups generally. Instead, it was one which exposed my own distrust in the Canadian judicial system and its impartiality. And my belief that the justice system as a whole does not provide the same opportunities and access to justice for individuals of colour, women, and other marginalized groups.

Read the rest of this entry

From Rio to Tokyo, gender discrimination in sport continues

August 25th, 2016 by Katie Douglas

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Caster Semenya, a South-African woman, ran and won the women’s 800-metre race at the 2016 Rio Olympics on Saturday night. Semenya has hyperandrogenism, a condition that causes her body to produce more testosterone than the average woman. Controversy around Semenya dates back to 2009 when she was forced to undergo blood and chromosome tests and a gynecological exam to prove that she is a woman. Many have argued that her high testosterone levels give her an unfair athletic advantage and she should either take medication to bring her testosterone levels in line with those of average women or be barred from competing.

This controversy brings to light one of society’s most persistent and destructive myths — that sex is a binary concept and our deeply entrenched view of the two genders and their respective roles is to be upheld in all areas from domestic tasks to sporting competitions. Athletes like Semenya are important because her participation raises the arbitrary and exclusive nature of this falsehood and the question of what society is going to do about it on an international and high‑profile stage. Read the rest of this entry

Bill C-16 introduces transgender protections but keeps Harper’s damaging human rights legacy

May 26th, 2016 by Shelina Ali

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Last week, the Liberal government introduced Bill C-16, an Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code of Canada to protect transgender individuals from discrimination and hate propaganda. The bill is almost identical to Bill C-279, a private member’s bill introduced in 2012 by NDP MP Randall Garrison. The two bills seek to make very simple amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) and the Criminal Code of Canada (Criminal Code): to provide protection from discrimination and from hate propaganda based on gender identity or expression.

The history and fate of the previous Bill C-279, together with prior amendments to the CHRA carried out by the Harper government in 2012 under Bill C-304, provide important insight into why the reintroduction of these amendments is so important — but also how, through Bill C-16, the Liberal government has failed to take advantage of a crucial opportunity to undo Harper’s damaging impact on the scope of equality rights protections available to Canadians under the CHRA. Read the rest of this entry

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal finds co-op failed to address harassment; awards $30,000 to victims

April 12th, 2016 by Shelina Ali

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has released a lengthy 87 page decision in which it found Rouge Valley Co‑operative Homes and its board of directors did not appropriately respond to a campaign of harassment against 10 of its members. It awarded $3,000 to each of the 10 members/applicants in the case as “compensation for the infringement of their right to be free from discrimination and harassment in the occupation of accommodation, including injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.”

This decision sets out some very clear expectations for housing co‑op Boards in dealing with issues of harassment and discrimination contrary to the Code. Volunteer board members should take note of the Tribunal’s expectations around how responsive and communicative a volunteer board of directors should be when dealing with these issues.

Read the rest of this entry

Ending discrimination against First Nations children in Canada

February 26th, 2015 by Priya Sarin

In February 2007, a human rights complaint was filed by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (the “Caring Society”) and the Assembly of First Nations (“AFN”) against the Government of Canada, alleging that the government discriminated against First Nations children by providing inequitable child welfare services to children living on-reserve as compared to children living off-reserve (First Nations Child).

In particular, the First Nations Child complaint alleges that the federal government’s program underfunds children living on-reserve, such that children do not receive needed care and support that would permit them to continue to live at home and, as a result, First Nations children are disproportionately removed from their families in comparison to non‑First Nations children. The impact of the child welfare system on First Nations communities has been compared to the legacy created by the residential school system.

Read more on rabble.ca

Ontario Human Rights Commission launches policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions

June 18th, 2014 by Celia Chandler

This morning the Human Rights Commission formally launched its “Policy on Preventing Discrimination based on Mental Health Disabilities and Addictions.”  The policy is the product of many years’ work and flows directly from the Commission report, “Minds That Matter:  Report on the consultation on human rights, mental health and addictions”, a report, released in 2012, that made 54 recommendations in the areas of government, housing employment and services.

Read the rest of this entry